Hole #17


Belfair Golf Club: East Course

A Natural Beauty with Deep Water Views

Posted by Alistair Orr


Tom Fazio had designed his fair share of courses in South Carolina’s coastal and resort Islands stretching from Charleston to Hilton Head (15 at last count) and some of his best work can be found traversing the banks of the Colleton River at Belfair Golf Club in Bluffton. In fact, Belfair is home to two Fazio courses: Belfair West and Belfair East. Residing on a once historic 1100 acre plantation just north of Hilton Head Island established in 1811 by William Telfair and his wife Betsy Bellinger, Fazio has now graced these fertile lands with a superb golf facility complementing the luxury residential community now calling these tidal lowlands home


The East course is the newer of the two routings coming into existence in 1999 (The West was built in 1995). The East is generally considered more forgiving that her older sibling. Ranging from 4965 to 6936 yards the course offers five sets of tees and three sets of hybrid tees allowing players of all abilities to choose the correct length of course to suit their game. The course can be described as a Scottish style layout featuring native grasses, wide windswept fairways and sizable undulating greens, however, the presence of tall Carolina Pines and moss dripping Oaks won’t let you forget that you are in the Lowcountry. Even though the course is located in the middle of the Belfair Plantation residential community the housing set-backs are substantial and the structures do not cramp the course. The routing is also designed with a short connection between holes making walking and enjoyable experience. Always superbly conditioned, the routing flows naturally over the rolling terrain and with well positioned bunkering, stands of trees, fresh water ponds and marshland a serene parkland ambiance can be enjoyed.


Course Stats: Belfair East

Par 71
74.4 / 142
72.2 / 132
71.2 / 130
69.8 / 116
70.3 / 128
75.7 / 136
68.1 / 121
72.4 / 128
71.2 / 121


Access: Private.



Bluffton, South Carolina


Featured Holes Description:

The rolling terrain is most notable on the front side with many of the holes featuring a fair amount of elevation change.  Huge waste bunker complexes and ponds are also regular occurrences.  You will need to bring your “A” game to the first tee for holes one and two will pressure your shot making right out of the gate. Although the driving area on hole number one is relatively open two gaping bunkers bracket the fairway and will punish the wayward drive. Avoid under clubbing on the approach to this false fronted green complex. If the elevation and wind direction are not taken into consideration the ball will back up off the front of the green. This testy opener is followed by a lengthy par 3 that will demand a well struck medium or long iron to a sloping green protected by a long greenside bunker right and a waste bunker long.  A pond stretches the distance of right side creating a visual distraction. The way you play the first two holes may set the tone for the day.


Holes five and six are also standout holes on the front side which feature all of the attributes mentioned above. Five is a wonderful risk reward par 4 whose green complex is perched on the side of a hill with fronting bunkers and a pond that stretches from tee-to-green. Long hitters can take dead aim from the elevated teeing ground and try to carry the pond to drive the green while the rest of us mortals must play out to right and circumnavigate the pond. Hole number 6 is a beast of a par 4 measuring 474 from the tips with OB left and a massive waste bunker stretching down the right side. The approach to the green complex cants to the right and a large pond will swallow anything missed right. The sixth has earned its status as the hardest rated hole on the course.


Hole #14

You will find little elevation change on the inward nine and the closing stretch of holes from 14 through 18 are situated along the wetlands of the Colleton River offering some spectacular deep water views. Hole 14 is a wonderful medium length par 3 where the teeing ground gives you your first glimpse of the Colleton. Care must be taken with shot selection for a shot flighted right-to-left may be preferred. Two large moss covered Oaks call the waste bunker that runs the left side of the hole home and may hinder sight lines from the back tee.


The dogleg right par 5 16th hole tops out at 534 yards and is a shot makers dream offering numerous way to tackle the hole. Forced carries are a rare occurrence on the East but your drive needs to carry a wetland inlet and large bunker to find the fairway. Two large waste bunkers need to be negotiated on the second shot whether you play aggressively or conservatively. The bold player wishing to challenge the green in two must carry a corner of the wetland, which runs the length of the right side, and a long waste bunker to find the green site –anything hit right will be disastrous. The conservative route requires the second shot to carry the  waste bunker that juts into the middle of the fairway from the left side to find an open area some 100 yards shy of the green. The approach is no picnic for the front bunker needs to avoided and the right side apron slopes off down towards the water.


Belfair East is a superb layout, one that does Fazio proud, seeing you use every club in the bag. It is a fair test and a fun course from any set of tees, the type of course that you could play everyday and not get bored.



Belfair Golf Club
200 Belfair Oaks Blvd
Bluffton, SC 29910
(843) 757-0707